Three to Race Mooloolaba

Con&Ben&Bryan

The beach resort of Mooloolaba on Australia's Sunshine Coast will witness an early St Patrick's Day this Saturday as no fewer than three Irish athletes race in the first ITU World Cup of the 2016 season.

Keane

Elite High Performance athlete Bryan Keane arrived in Australia on Wednesday, just days after his great performance at the WTS World Series race in Abu Dhabi. Keane finished in 18th place and picked up some valuable Olympic qualifying points. He's ranked number 15 on the start list on Mooloolaba and will be looking to consolidate his position on the road to Rio with another strong result.

Shaw

The race form-book warms that the Mooloolaba surf is often unpredictable and with the absence of some of the circuit’s superfish for this race it expects to see some new faces at the front of the swim. One of those faces could well be Ben Shaw who finished 8th last month at the Devonport Oceania Cup event in New Zealand and is always one to watch on the swim leg.

Doherty

Shaw has spent the northern hemisphere winter in Australia and will be well accustomed to the conditions, as will High Performance Development athlete Con Doherty who has been training in Brisbane over the winter. As the 20-year-old told us last month, his debut Oceania Cup race was another positive step along the road of his fledging career and don't expect him to be daunted by lining out for the first time in a World Cup field.

The Rest

The Irish contingent will face many of the world's top athletes with last week's Abu Dhabi winner Mario Mola ranked number 1 on a very strong start list.

The women’s race will get underway at 11:45am (12:45am Irish time), while the men will toe the line at 1:30pm (2:30am Irish time).

If you are up, you can follow the races with live timing at triathlon.org and on twitter on @triathlonlive.